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Thursday, July 23, 2015
Note: Due to a family reunion we hosted in the Poconos this week we did not post messages on Monday-Wednesday.
Amish and Mennonite horses waiting for owners at Haiti Benefit Auction
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"Will He Find Faith?"
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"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
Late yesterday afternoon we returned from our annual family reunion held this year in the Poconos about 125 miles northeast of us. This is Stephen's mom's side (her children along with her nieces and nephews and their families). The Steincross family is mainly a Midwest family but we were pleased that we had over 50 in attendance with family attending from coast to coast.
One cousin and his wife, who are now retired, are traveling up through New England (a great idea in our view since we lived there 7˝ years in the nineties). There's a lot to see and do in New England and one of our favorites is "Old Sturbridge Village", a living history museum that depicts life in a rural New England village and the surrounding countryside in the 1830's. The characters dress in the costume of the period and when you visit, it's as though you are walking right into an authentic village of that time period. The cobbler is making shoes, men are working at the sawmill, farmers are in their fields, women are baking on the open fire, etc. They are very proficient in describing the manner of life at that time.
Especially interesting to us is the village church where the organist describes the typical service and plays several hymns. We actually attended this church for a service when we visited the Village on Thanksgiving one year and heard an excellent Bible-based and doctrinally sound sermon that was written over 150 years earlier.
Let us consider followers of Christ who lived in that period. We wonder what obstacles to faith they experienced? We can be certain that they faced obstacles, for that has always been the case in one way or another for every generation. But historical evidence indicates that they did not contend with the overall culture of unbelief in that time period that we do today!
The basic moral fabric was strong and in those days it was based on the Bible. The little schoolhouse used the Bible and books like the McGuffy readers to instill spiritual and ethical values in the children. The emphasis was on the objective teaching of the three R's. Hard work and family life were the overwhelming norm. We found it very interesting the way in which the destitute were cared for which reflected both compassion and an expectation of personal responsibility.
Evidence of decadence in culture is by no means new. I consider how my generation's parents and grandparents viewed some of the cultural expressions of the "younger generation" and how their parents did before them. Many were appalled at Elvis Presley's dance style which was considered vulgar. But can the incremental regression into increasingly depraved expressions of decadence in our age really be denied?
My concern, personally, for my family and for all whom I have the privilege of impacting for Christ is the tendency to become desensitized to this decline into decadence. We get so accustomed to hearing and seeing the decadence that it loses its shock value. If the Bible's standards are not the daily filter of that which we accept or reject, we eventually become accepting of the world's value system which might have shocked our natural and spiritual senses years earlier!
Today in our generation a remnant seeks to stay faithful to God. In the daily text the Lord Jesus asks a probing question. "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" The question presumes a period of time before the Son of Man comes. I suppose the initial hearers would not have imagined that period of time being nearly 2,000 years (up to the time we now live).
But the question clearly asserts that the "Son of Man" (a term used for Jesus in Luke's gospel) will come. He asks the question: "Will He find faith on the earth?" The Greek word can also be translated "faithfulness."
By God's grace, which is altogether sufficient for our needs, we want to be among those in this generation who keep the faith in spite of the obstacles of unbelief, decadence and materialism that seem to flood our lives. We will even dare to be labeled "old-fashioned" if, by aligning our convictions with the One called the "Ancient of Days", makes us appear to others to be "behind the times." Will you join us in staying faithful?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we look into the book of Daniel and see that the Babylonian society in which he was held captive, from youth through old age, was godless and hostile to those seeking to live in obedience to You. Nevertheless Daniel prayed openly and faithfully to You, never forsaking the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He did not seek to fit into the mindset of his society but was intentional in standing apart from the babylonian gods as a follower of the one true God. Today we have many brothers and sisters who follow Christ; we have the Scripture that teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions; we have living examples throughout Scripture and history of those who courageously remained faithful to the end, and we have the infilling of the Holy Spirit which strengthens us daily in our Christian walk. When the Son of Man comes back to find faithfulness on the earth, may we be among that number. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Brooksyne's Note: We write about the increasing evidence of decadence in our culture today that cannot be denied. One need look no further than Facebook to see those whose interests, quotes, pictures, causes, "likes" and profanity stand in stark contrast to Biblical teaching. We have been especially distressed to observe how many in the younger generations have abandoned the faith and values they were taught and are now proclaiming evil as good and good as evil.
However there are also many who further the cause of Christ as they share Scripture, inspirational quotes, and causes that align with Biblical teaching. We can shine the light of Christ in whatever format the Lord provides for us, whether in the neighborhood, at home or work, and even in cyberspace.
Let us ask you this: When people see your Facebook page or any other expression of your views is there any question as to where you stand?
Tomorrow we will share some photos from our reunion but today we share several photos from our visit last Friday night to the Haiti Benefit Auction in Bird In Hand, PA.
These little Mennonite boys were having a fun time hanging on the back of a wagon.
We watched part of the auction, always a very colorful event. Since 100% of the proceeds went to the Haiti Missions many of the items went very high. We also heard a gospel music concert with a male quintet.
Colorful quilts are always a feature in these types of auctions and many of them net top dollar, from $600.00 to well over $1000.00.
We enjoyed a chicken BBQ meal with all the trimmings that was available for a donation of any amount. Most in attendance were in one of our "Plain" groups (Amish, Mennonite, etc.) If you look real close you may see Brooksyne in the photo walking along with my brother Mike. They don't necessarily blend in with the crowd!
This last weekend we enjoyed our visit with Stephen's oldest brother Mike (left), along with his daughter Greta and son in law Dean who also went to the reunion along with their children. (They are not midgets, we just have really tall corn this year!)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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